Fish Crow. The Fish Crow is a small member of the crow family. They are found in wetland habitats throughout the eastern and southeastern United States. These birds are smaller than their more well-known cousin, the American Crow, with an average length of 12-16 inches (36–41 cm) and weight of 12-15 oz.
Starlings are another bird that are often confused with crows due to their appearance. Starlings are about the same size as crows and have black plumage. However, these shiny feathers are speckled with white, which is a tell-tale sign that the bird you’re looking at isn’t a crow.
Small Black Birds
|Small Black Birds||Wingspan||Weight|
|Tricolored Blackbird||10.2-13.0 in||1.4-2.6 oz|
|Shiny Cowbird||11 in||1.9-2.3 oz|
|Black Phoebe||10.5-11 in||0.5-0.8 oz|
|Lark Bunting||9.8-11.0 in||1.3-1.5 oz|
The little crow (Corvus bennetti) is an Australian species of crow, very similar to the Torresian crow in having white bases to the neck and head feathers (shown when ruffled in strong wind) but slightly smaller (38–45 cm in length) and with a slightly smaller bill.
Many birds earn the catch-all label “black birds.” Black-colored–or at least mostly black-colored–birds in the yard tend to be one of these: European Starling, Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird, and Brown-headed Cowbird. In most places, the most common black-colored of the birds in the yard is likely the starling.
Grackles and Crows belong to different families; grackles are icterids while crows are corvids. Crows are also generally larger and heavier than grackles and have different colored eyes. In terms of sexual dimorphism, the grackles surpass the crows.
Common Grackles are blackbirds that look like they’ve been slightly stretched. They’re taller and longer tailed than a typical blackbird, with a longer, more tapered bill and glossy-iridescent bodies. Grackles walk around lawns and fields on their long legs or gather in noisy groups high in trees, typically evergreens.
While there are many different species of black birds, we will focus on the most common ones, the American Crow, Common Raven, European Starling, Common Grackle, and Brown-headed Cowbird.
The European Starling is another widespread black bird that occurs in flocks, but it is far smaller than a Fish Crow with a longer, more slender bill.
Crows, ravens, and blackbirds are all members of the same order, but crows and ravens are in a different family than are blackbirds. To make things more confusing, not all blackbirds are black.
Distinctive Physical Traits. The crow is an all-rounder black-colored bird, from its eyes to its bills down to the feet. In Blackbirds, however, you are likely to find a distinctive slight tinge of color, sometimes on the wing bar, eyes, or even the beak.
Common Grackles are larger than Brewer’s Blackbirds with a longer tail and a heavier bill. Male Common Grackles have a bluish sheen on the head, whereas Brewer’s have a purplish sheen.
There are five species of the blackbirds in North America, the Red-winged Blackbird and the Rusty Blackbird are the only two that may be seen in eastern North America, while the Brewer’s Blackbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird and Tricolored Blackbird are seen from the central regions of North America to the western …
Starlings are chunky and blackbird-sized, but with short tails and long, slender beaks. In flight their wings are short and pointed, making them look rather like small, four-pointed stars (and giving them their name).
Rooks differ from crows by a pale, straighter bill with a bare grey bill base. They display ‘feathery trousers’ on their legs and have an oily, loose plumage compared to crows. However, young rooks have fully feathered faces so can be mistaken for crows.
Crows most often have an even caw, caw sound, while ravens have a deeper, throatier, croaking call. If you’re able to observe a bird up close, you’ll see that ravens have fluffier feathers around their head and especially at their throat. They also have thicker beaks than crows, with more of a curve to the end.
Ravens differ from crows in appearance by their larger bill, tail shape, flight pattern and by their large size. Ravens are as big as Red-tailed Hawks, and crows are about the size of pigeons. The raven is all black, has a 3.5-4 ft wingspan and is around 24-27 inches from head to tail.
This is because these birds are seen as the forces that guide souls from earth to heaven. In other instances, they also represent reincarnation and renewal. Thus, they’re also believed to be symbolic of happy marriages. However, if a blackbird appears at your front door, the Japanese consider this to be bad luck.
Nonbreeding male Rusty Blackbirds are mottled brown and black unlike the intricate iridescent pattern of European Starlings. They also have a yellow eye whereas starlings have a dark eye.
Bully birds include blackbirds, grackles, pigeons, European starlings and house sparrows. The last three are non-native species and are not protected by law.
Although they resemble crows and ravens, grackles are not actually related to these birds. Instead, they are in the blackbird family of Icteridae, which also includes cowbirds and orioles. Grackles are smaller than either crows or ravens. They’re about a foot long, around the same size as a blue jay or robin.
The little raven is, at about 48–50 cm in length on average, somewhat smaller than the Australian raven (though sizes do overlap between both species), the little raven’s beak is slightly smaller.
Reason to love Grackles #3: They play an important role in the ecosystem. While they may seem like a big bad bully to some backyard birders, in reality the Common Grackle is a highly valuable prey item for many species including red foxes, coyotes, and bird of prey species such as owls and hawks.
Brown-headed Cowbirds are smallish blackbirds, with a shorter tail and thicker head than most other blackbirds. The bill has a distinctive shape: it’s much shorter and thicker-based than other blackbirds’, almost finch-like at first glance. In flight, look for the shorter tail.
Grackle Symbolism and Meaning
For many people, the grackle is a symbol of courage. If you’ve ever met a grackle then it isn’t hard to imagine why this is. Grackles approach life with an audacious attitude and are rarely deterred by the presence of humans in their vicinity. Grackles also frequently symbolize thievery.